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Keep it simple: The role of switch selection in simplifying electronic designs

November 12, 2013 4:42 pm | by Marty Arch, National Sales Manager, NKK Switches | Articles | Comments

Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Whether in architectural design, software coding, engineering discipline or even managing people, simplicity is an overriding goal and success is achieved when a product or process is at its maximum simplicity.

How test instrument manufacturers can design to meet the expectations of new and experienced engineers

October 14, 2013 2:36 pm | by Jonathan Tucker, Keithley Instruments, Inc. | Articles | Comments

A recent industry study indicates one out of five electrical engineers now in the global workforce has started his or her career within the last 10 years. These newer engineers tend to be more software-oriented than some of their more experienced colleagues due to recent changes in universities’ electrical engineering curricula.

JTAG/Boundary Scan – a method for eliminating access problems in electronic assembly development

October 11, 2013 10:20 am | by Enrico Lusky and Mario Berger, Goepel | Articles | Comments

JTAG/Boundary Scan has become an increasingly valuable application, in particular in the development departments of small and large companies. On the one hand, this is due to the enormous potential the technology provides and, on the other hand to the problems increasingly compact assemblies and components place on test technologies with respect to mechanical access.

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Software helps build machine-to-machine applications

October 8, 2013 12:39 pm | Wind River Systems | Product Releases | Comments

Wind River introduced the latest version of Wind River Intelligent Device Platform, a complete software development environment used for building machine-to-machine (M2M) applications and devices that communicate with the cloud. The platform provides ready-to-use components to secure, manage, and connect Internet of Things (IoT) gateways.

Precision signal viewing

October 8, 2013 12:16 pm | by Joel Woodward, Agilent Technologies | Keysight Technologies | Articles | Comments

The need for seeing additional current and voltage detail is increasing.  Many scope users want better ability to see small signal changes on a large signal (high dynamic range measurements). Power rails, biomedical technology developed to interact with human physiology, high-energy physics experiments that produce small pulses....

High-speed data streaming with PXI Express platforms

October 8, 2013 11:08 am | by Louis Hsu, manager of Measurement and I/O Platform Verification and Application, ADLINK | Articles | Comments

Electronic systems, both analog and digital, are processing and managing increasing amounts of information at continually increasing data rates. The information age continues to amplify demands on developers of high accuracy and reliability systems and subsystems.

Adding a personal touch to automotive interior lighting via LIN

September 10, 2013 3:59 pm | by Michael Bender, Melexis | Melexis | Articles | Comments

Solid-state lighting is now becoming commonplace in automotive designs, replacing more costly, less energy efficient and not as reliable incandescent lamps. Though it is only in recent times that it has started to be considered for the parking lights, brake lights, side lights and front lights on the car’s exterior...

How to design backlights for LCD TV displays with scrolling LEDs

September 9, 2013 5:42 pm | by Girish Ramesh, Sr. Marketing Manager, Atmel Corporation and Kevin Hempson, Staff Applications Engineer, Atmel Corporation | Articles | Comments

You can improve contrast and reduce motion blur by sequentially flashing zones in an LCD display that is back lit with edge-mounted LEDs. You achieve this scrolling illumination with improved LED driver ICs. With the help of some timing diagrams this article will reveal how this works in principle and will give a description of the different modes of operation.

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Fundamentals of transformer testing

September 9, 2013 9:33 am | by Faride Akretch, Tektronix | Articles | Comments

Transformers are widely used in electronics and power, so it is important to have an understanding of how transformers work, what they are composed of and test and analysis techniques. The most common type of transformer is called an AC input line, or Mains transformer.

Non-contact infrared temp sensors monitor heat sinks and pipes

July 15, 2013 9:13 am | by Vasco Polyzoev, Systems Engineer, Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Measuring temperatures using infrared (IR) sensors without direct contact with an object, is the new paradigm in optimizing thermal monitoring and control. In this article we introduce the idea of this approach by taking advantage of new and very small IR temperature sensors available on the market.

The role of sensors in stable HVAC systems: Heavy duty pressure transducers

July 15, 2013 9:05 am | by Ketan Mehta, Honeywell | Honeywell Sensing And Control | Articles | Comments

Whether it’s a high-rise office tower or a manufacturing floor, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed for building occupants’ comfort. When systems operate at optimum levels, they’re energy efficient and go unnoticed. When they’re not, efficiency drops and complaints rise.

Designing business-critical applications in the cloud

July 12, 2013 10:32 am | by Jonathan Alexander, CTO, Vocalocity | Articles | Comments

Perhaps no business service is more critical than telecommunications; reliability and quality of a phone system are absolute requirements.  Over the past decade, internet-based VoIP (voice over internet protocol) has taken its place as a viable means of communication for individuals....

A tale of two cities: Ethernet meets PCIe

July 10, 2013 4:28 pm | by Michael Zimmerman, vice president of marketing, Tilera Corporation | Articles | Comments

Two industry megatrends are reshaping the way we design and deploy networks and compute (i.e. datacenter servers). The first is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) with the goal of moving functions such as content distribution, firewalls and base station controllers from proprietary hardware to standard, low cost servers.

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Evolution of light sensor integration

May 21, 2013 10:59 am | by Darrell Benke, Sr. Marketing Manager, Opto Sensors and Lighting, ams AG | Articles | Comments

Light sensing technology, in the form of photodiodes and phototransistors, was invented around the 1950s. Since the inception of the first optosensors, the devices have gradually found their place in commercial and industrial applications, but their adoption was limited due to the size, cost and overall performance.

Faster FET testing with SMUs

May 16, 2013 11:12 am | by Mary Anne Tupta, Senior Staff Applications Engineer, Keithley Instruments | Keithley Instruments | Articles | Comments

Field effect transistors (FETs) are important semiconductor devices because they are fundamental components of many devices and electronic instruments. Some of the countless applications for FETs include their use as amplifiers, memory devices, switches, logic devices, and sensors.

Integrating sensors into mobile devices

April 30, 2013 3:34 pm | by Jim Steele, Ph.D., Vice President of Engineering, Sensor Platforms | Articles | Comments

Sensors have been an important addition to smartphones ever since accelerometers were first used to determine screen orientation. Now a wide variety of sensors, including magnetometers, barometers, and gyroscopes, are found in many other devices, such as watches, glasses, headsets, and shoes.

New construction materials and techniques enable LVDT linear position sensor operation in diverse environments

April 30, 2013 3:04 pm | by Lee Hudson, Applications Engineer, Macro Sensors, www.macrosensors.com | Macro Sensors | Articles | Comments

The LVDT Linear Position Sensor is a robust sensor adaptable to a variety of applications. A very reliable sensing device with no moving parts, LVDTs are often the best linear feedback technology when it comes to reliability and longevity. However, in the past, LVDTs were limited by its own sensitivity to the environment that caused errors in linear feedback.

Pressure sensor construction addresses challenges in wet environments

April 30, 2013 2:09 pm | by Karmjit Sidhu, Vice President Business Development, American Sensor Technologies, www.astsensors.com | Articles | Comments

Accurate measurement of low pressure with respect to atmospheric reference (typically called vented or gauge reference) requires that pressure sensors breathe under dry, humid and wet conditions. In humid and wet environments, challenges are posed on how to operate the pressure sensor without allowing water into the back end of the sensors....

Simplify switched-mode power-supply measurements using dedicated oscilloscope software

April 4, 2013 11:25 am | by Art Pini, Technical Marketing Engineer, Teledyne LeCroy | Articles | Comments

The analysis of a switched-mode power supply requires the ability to measure device, control loop, and line-related functions.  To this end, most oscilloscope manufacturers have created power analysis software, which combines all these elements into a simple-to-use toolbox.

One accelerometer interrupt pin for both wakeup and non-motion detection

April 2, 2013 4:48 pm | by Jay Esfandyari, Gang Xu, Fabio Pasolini, STMicroelectronics | Stmicroelectronics | Articles | Comments

MEMS accelerometers can output different kinds of interrupt signals such as data ready, freefall, portrait/landscape, single-click/double-click, and impact detection, etc. Some accelerometers have built-in wakeup and motionless detection features to automatically switch between lower output data rate (ODR) at low power mode and higher ODR at normal mode....

NTC thermistors versus voltage output IC temp sensors

April 2, 2013 10:05 am | by Brian Gosselin, Jr., Texas Instruments | Texas Instruments | Articles | Comments

Electronic engineers are finding that thermometry is becoming increasingly more popular in modern applications. Two types of commonly used temperature sensing solutions are negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors and voltage output integrated circuit (IC) temp sensors.

Five things you really want in a digital oscilloscope (but didn’t know you needed)

March 21, 2013 9:00 am | by Faride Akretch, Tektronix | Tektronix | Articles | Comments

For anyone designing, manufacturing, or repairing electronic equipment, a digital storage oscilloscope is a must-have tool. It lets you see high-speed repetitive or single-shot signals across multiple channels to capture elusive glitches or transient events. An oscilloscope is equally as useful a tool for qualifying elements of a new design....

Design for testability

March 19, 2013 9:41 am | by Holger Goepel, CEO, GOEPEL electronics | Goepel Electronics Llc | Articles | Comments

Since the very early days of electronic components, failures have continuously been appearing. In spite of enormous development and production improvements, this situation has not changed. The increasing circuit density and board complexity are critical factors for producing faults.

The philosophy of embedded design

March 12, 2013 12:42 pm | by Carl Cohen, Director, Embedded Marketing Programs, Avnet Electronics Marketing, Americas | Articles | Comments

As technology has become more pervasive in our day-to-day lives, easy adoption is a critical factor in the overall success of a product release. To achieve this, embedded designers must first determine the practical problem the application will solve or the tangible life enhancement it will offer.

FPGA debug using high-bandwidth, mixed-signal oscilloscopes

March 11, 2013 2:35 pm | by Daniel Ruebusch, Agilent Technologies, Inc. | Articles | Comments

How do you test and debug a device with hundreds of thousands of internal logic cells and transceiver speeds up to 28 Gbps? Such is the challenge facing designers of today’s industry leading FPGAs. From the perspective of digital debug, the biggest challenges arise from the inaccessibility of critical logic nodes and a limitation on the number of available physical pins.

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